Applied Sports Science newsletter – May 17, 2017

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for May 17, 2017


Koscielny faces daily treatment on Achilles injury for rest of career, Daniel Rouse from

Laurent Koscielny says he must report to medical staff every day for the remainder of his career for treatment on his lingering Achilles injury.

The Arsenal defender, 31, was diagnosed with chronic tendinitis in both feet while with the France national team camp in October 2014, but a subsequent eight-match layoff has since seen him feature regularly at centre-half in the last three campaigns.


Nutrition, Sleep and Performance Summits and Task Forces

NCAA Sports Science Institute from

More than 40 members of an Interassociation Task Force on Sleep and Wellness convened in Indianapolis on May 1 and 2, 2017, to review the current data and discuss research related to the sleep health of student-athletes. Representatives from NCAA Association-wide committees, divisional bodies, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committees joined attendees from scientific, higher education and sports medicine organizations with the goal of developing recommendations to inform best practices and educational resources in support of the sleep wellness of college athletes.

During the two-day event, experts presented on the science of sleep and the relationship between sleep and mental well-being, diet, metabolism, traumatic brain injury, performance and recovery. A panel of coaches and student-athletes complemented the agenda by sharing their first-hand perspective of the barriers to sleep health and successful strategies for achieving sleep wellness. On the second day of the event, attendees participated in small and large group discussions to explore challenges to, and opportunities that could best support, the sleep wellness of student-athletes.


A cognitive scientist has devised a drug-free sleep trick for your restless mind

Quartz, Lila MacLellan from

A cognitive scientist may have solved a familiar sleep riddle: If you struggle to fall asleep, you’re likely to keep thinking about how you can’t fall asleep, which makes it harder to fall asleep. So how do you stop thinking about your struggle to sleep?

Luc Beaudoin of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, has invented a method called cognitive shuffling that’s meant to lull the brain into that groggy state that precedes a sleep cycle by asking it to focus on random words and images, without making connections between them. When he’s speaking to other cognitive scientists, he calls the concept “serial diverse imagining.”

There are two ways to do this cognitive shuffle. The first is to play a simple word game as you lay in bed: Pick a word that contains at least five letters. Take the first letter, and create a new list of words that begin with it, then vividly picture each in your mind. When you run out of ideas or inspiration, move on to the next letter. The “seed” word can be anything, though it should be emotionally neutral, and ought not contain too many repeated letters.


Grad Hunter Becomes Gym Rat to Learn New Techniques

Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site from

… “We have two new coaches – Tyler Hildebrand and Kayla Banwarth – and new techniques to learn from them,” Hunter said. “We also have Hunter Atherton, our new freshman setter (who earned a spot on the Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team).”

Bottom line, [Kelly] Hunter expects a grueling summer, especially since the Huskers lost four senior starters, including three who were All-Americans.

“We will be in the gym A LOT,” Hunter told me with extra emphasis on the last two words. “We will be in the gym constantly. I think we have something to prove this year. This team is hungry, and we want to prove that we’re going to be just as good as we were last year.”


The full and fascinating detail of the meticulous training regime a Lions squad faces

Wales Online, Matthew Southcombe from

… In collaboration with his staff and head coach Warren Gatland, he was in charge of planning when the Lions trained, how long for, when they recovered, what they ate and he introduced various ways of monitoring the players in partnership with Microsoft.

No stone was left unturned on the Lions’ quest for glory, so where do you even start when faced with such a task?


The worst case scenario: Locomotor and collision demands of the longest periods of gameplay in professional rugby union

PLOS One; Cillian Reardon et al. from

A number of studies have used global positioning systems (GPS) to report on positional differences in the physical game demands of rugby union both on an average and singular bout basis. However, the ability of these studies to report quantitative data is limited by a lack of validation of certain aspects of measurement by GPS micro-technology. Furthermore no study has analyzed the positional physical demands of the longest bouts of ball-in-play time in rugby union. The aim of the present study is to compare the demands of the single longest period of ball-in-play, termed “worst case scenario” (WCS) between positional groups, which have previously been reported to have distinguishable game demands. The results of this study indicate that WCS periods follow a similar sporadic pattern as average demands but are played at a far higher pace than previously reported for average game demands with average meters per minute of 116.8 m. The positional differences in running and collision activity previously reported are perpetuated within WCS periods. Backs covered greater total distances than forwards (318 m vs 289 m), carried out more high-speed running (11.1 m·min-1 vs 5.5 m·min-1) and achieved higher maximum velocities (MaxVel). Outside Backs achieved the highest MaxVel values (6.84 m·sec-1). Tight Five and Back Row forwards underwent significantly more collisions than Inside Back and Outside Backs (0.73 & 0.89 collisions·min-1 vs 0.28 & 0.41 collisions·min-1 respectively). The results of the present study provide information on the positional physical requirements of performance in prolonged periods involving multiple high intensity bursts of effort. Although the current state of GPS micro-technology as a measurement tool does not permit reporting of collision intensity or acceleration data, the combined use of video and GPS provides valuable information to the practitioner. This can be used to match and replicate game demands in training.


Internet of things made simple: One sensor package does work of many

Carnegie Mellon University, School of Computer Science from

Ubiquitous sensors seem almost synonymous with the internet of things (IoT), but some Carnegie Mellon University researchers say ubiquitous sensing — with a single, general purpose sensor for each room — may be better.

The plug-in sensor package they’ve developed monitors multiple phenomena in a room, including things such as sounds, vibration, light, heat, electromagnetic noise and temperature. With help from machine learning techniques, this suite of sensors can determine whether a faucet’s left or right spigot is running, if the microwave door is open or how many paper towels have been dispensed.


Synthetic Sensors: Towards General-Purpose Sensing

YouTube, Future Interfaces Group from

We explore the notion of general-purpose sensing, wherein a single, highly capable sensor can indirectly monitor a large context, without direct instrumentation of objects. Further, through what we call Synthetic Sensors, we can virtualize raw sensor data into actionable feeds, while simultaneously mitigating immediate privacy issues. We deployed our system across many months and environments, the results of which show the versatility, accuracy and potential of our approach.


Earbud sensor reportedly measures blood pressure, dehydration

ApplySci, Lisa Weiner from

As health sensors become more discreet, and fused with commonly worn devices, Kyocera has integrated a tiny, optical sensor into its earbud. The hybrid music/phone/health use wearable measures blood flow in hypodermal tissues using Laser Doppler velocimetry. It can monitor nerve and blood pressure, levels of dehydration, and possible signs of heat stroke. Sleep monitoring can be done more accurately than with current devices, and the effect of music on brain states can also be studied.


Low carb, high fat diet impairs performance of athletes, study shows

SBS News (AU), AAP from

Fitness fanatics may swear by it but new research shows a low carbohydrate, high fat diet (LCHF) can impair the performance of elite athletes, a leading Australian sports nutritionist says.

A study led by Professor Louise Burke, Head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) found athletes actually excelled when consuming carbohydrates as opposed to those on a LCHF diet.

Contrary to current popular belief, Prof Burke says carbohydrate is a “more economical” fuel for the body.


Rebuilding and Recovery: Cutting-Edge Sports Nutrition

SimpliFaster Blog from

Freelap USA: Can you get into some details about training the gut beyond simply taking a probiotic or performing trendy feeding strategies?

Katie Mark: Athletes need to think about their gut more often than just when they experience gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Athletes suffer from psychological and GI conditions, which are linked to the gut. The gut needs to function optimally because it can dictate your sport performance through energy provision (e.g., carbohydrate and fluid), immunity, defense against GI infections, cognition, brain function, and behavior. With this said, diet and strenuous training/competition heavily impact the gut.

The primary goal of the new nutritional strategy, “training the gut,” is to reduce GI symptoms and improve performance. This is done using multiple strategies that lead to adaptations in the gut that are critical to performance. For example, training with a relatively high carbohydrate intake during exercise can lead to adaptations in: 1) reducing bloating during exercise; 2) increasing gastric emptying; and 3) increasing the ability to absorb carbohydrate, which will increase the delivery of carbohydrate. The stronger your gut, the better your performance.


Focus and decision-making: The next big thing in sports nutrition?

Nutra Ingredients, Stephen Daniells from

The importance of mental strength in addition to physical strength is gaining increasing appreciation in sports nutrition, and key players are building the science around cognitive health in response to demand for ingredients to boost focus and decision making.


Identifying Team Playing Styles with Clustering

Hockey Graphs, Ryan Stimson from

Last time, I looked at individual playing styles by clustering players together based on various passing metrics. Today, I’m going to use a similar approach to identify team playing styles and what we can learn about them. I got the idea watching this video on NBA offensive styles (stick tap to @dtmaboutheart for the link). It’s been sitting in my unfinished pile for a while, but I was spurred on to finish it by some comments made about the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins series, which I will delve into tomorrow. Today’s piece is to going provide examples of how passing metrics can provide more detailed and actionable scouting reports for a team’s offensive and defensive tendencies.


Opta’s EVP Andrew Cox Dishes On Data’s Influence In Sports

SportTechie, Mark J. Burns from

1) What utilization of technology in professional or college sports has recently blown you away and why?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the pace of technical innovation around the business of sports. It’s such a constant. Considering this question through the prism of sports data as a fan, rather than from an Opta business perspective, I’ve always been impressed by the PGA’s commitment to getting ahead of the curve through technology, certainly from a data capture perspective. Realizing commercial value, outside of just sponsorship, and utilizing the intelligence from ShotLink data has gotten much better of late too, as stakeholders start to better understand how the data can be applied from an analytical and visualization perspective. Such data strategies can become self-fulfilling as it stimulates lots of secondary interest in the TOUR, its tournaments and its playing talent, benefiting not only the PGA directly but supporting the advancement of the sport as a whole. There are a number of federations who ought to be prepared to invest in these fundamentals around sports data, while acknowledging the necessity of strategic partnerships to help fully realize associated commercial opportunities.


On the N.H.L.’s Playoff Ice, Injuries Are Risen Above

The New York Times, Andrew Knoll from

During the N.H.L. playoffs, Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson has played more minutes than anyone else — with two stress fractures in his foot.

That Karlsson is pushing through injuries in the postseason is no surprise. What is surprising is that he disclosed the injuries with the Senators still alive in the postseason.

The list of injury and surgery announcements after a hockey team is eliminated from the playoffs is a time-honored tradition in the N.H.L.


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